News

    US Physicians Group Offers Evidence of Darfur Atrocities

    A handout picture released by the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) shows Sudanese Abdulrahim Ahmed Mohammed, 12, sitting in his house at Al-Salam camp for internally displaced people in El-Fasher, the administrative capital of North
    A handout picture released by the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) shows Sudanese Abdulrahim Ahmed Mohammed, 12, sitting in his house at Al-Salam camp for internally displaced people in El-Fasher, the administrative capital of North
    Nico Colombant

    A U.S.-based group of physicians on Tuesday released medical evidence of widespread torture, sexual assault and other human rights violations against civilians in Sudan's conflict-wracked Darfur region.

    The study was released by the group Physicians for Human Rights in the peer-reviewed Internet medical journal, PLoS Medicine.

    The report is based on the work of forensic medical experts who reviewed the records of more than 300 Darfuri patients who fled violence from more than 20 rural areas across Darfur. They were examined between 2004 and 2006 at a clinic in Nyala, South Darfur.

    Despite the passage of time and the narrowness of the study, co-author Alexander Tsai, a physician at Harvard University, says it helps define what has been happening in Darfur.

    "We do know that people have resisted calling what has been going on by various names, whether you want to call it war crimes or genocide or crimes against humanity," said Tsai. "One of the reasons why this semantic game has been permitted to persist is that we really have not had a whole lot of evidence."

    Hostilities in the region escalated with the start of a massive rebel insurgency in 2003. The report says the atrocities were committed by Sudan government forces and allied Janjaweed tribal fighters against non-Arab speaking populations.

    The report says atrocities range from beatings and gunshot wounds to sexual assaults.

    Nearly half of all of the women reported being sexually assaulted. Half of the sexual assaults were reported to have taken place in close proximity to displacement camps, where victims had sought shelter after fleeing the violence.

    Sudanese officials repeatedly have denied that large-scale and intentional abuses are being committed against civilian populations. They say security forces are countering attacks by rebel groups and that the number of dead and the reported abuses are exaggerated by those trying to undermine the Khartoum government.

    Although not in custody, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, former humanitarian affairs minister Ahmed Mohammed Haroun and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb face war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court.

    Alexander Tsai of the Physicians for Human Rights says he hopes the new evidence will reduce what he calls the "wiggle room" for counter-claims and help in the pursuit of justice.

    "We really need hard facts to be brought to bear on this issue and to stop the violence," said Tsai. "This is the only study so far where forensic analysis has been applied to medical records. We really are hoping that this analysis will be used to bring the bad guys to account for their actions."

    Despite repeated attempts at peace negotiations, violence similar to what was documented in the study has been ongoing in Darfur as well as in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where rebels and government forces are also fighting.   

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora